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India’s Tata Group is expected to take over Wistron’s iPhone factory soon in the southern Karnataka state, which is estimated to be worth over $600 million. Once taken from the hands of the Taiwan-based company, it will make Tata the first local Indian company to manufacture iPhones for Apple.
The Wistron factory in India employs over 10,000 workers, who are currently responsible for the assembly of the latest iPhone 14 model. Once the deal is signed in August, this will give Tata control over iPhone production in India, making it the first Indian company to handle an iPhone assembly business.
The news is huge, especially for Apple, which plans to diversify its device production. According to previous reports, India currently produces 7% of iPhones globally, but Apple is reportedly planning to bump up the number to up to 18% in the next two years or by 2025. This will start with iPhone 15, and Tata is reportedly expected to cover 5% of iPhone productions globally in the future.
Nonetheless, the Wistron factory will continuously ship iPhones worth at least $1.8 billion until March 2024. According to the Indian news website Firstpost, Tata will honor this commitment once the deal is closed, alongside plans to triple the workforce population next year.
This deal will favor India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give the Indian economy a boost through chipmaking. However, Modi’s visions for the country recently faced challenges, especially after iPhone maker Foxconn dropped its joint venture deal with India’s multinational mining company Vedanta. The Taiwanese company didn’t specify the reason behind the decision, but a Reuters report cites a source claiming some factors that resulted in the end of the venture, including “concerns about incentive approval delays by India’s government.”